Sunday, June 14, 2015

When money is tight call in the PASTA!

Booker posing with the receipt

My husband and I were arguing about money the other day and I said to him if I give you money for weed what am I going to buy groceries with and like a true addict he said I don't care about groceries and I said well I am sorry but I do like to eat. (For some background my husband smokes weed like a crack whore smokes....ok I think you get the picture). But this got me thinking and to prove a point this week I am going to shop as lean as I possibly can while still trying to eat well. What do you do when your budget is limited but you still want to eat well.....make PASTA! So meat is out which will drive him crazy not that there will be no meat but it will be a small part more like a condiment instead of the main deal. So since I have dinner with my parents on Tuesday and I usually make Tommy franks and beans or bring leftovers for dinner this mean I have to come up with 4 meals for the work week. Three of my favorites popped into my head immediately so I just need one more idea.  I wish my garden was further along than it is that is always a wealth of inspiration nothing better than letting the ingredients available in your yard decide whats for dinner.

Like everyone else I get stuck for ideas and two great websites that get me all geeked up to cook are food and wine magazine and the new york times. Both websites feature great recipes and inspiration to try new things and inspiration is always a huge bonus. So the recipes that came to me immediately are Spaghetti Carbonara, Linguine with Zucchini and Tomatoes (sounds blah but trust me it rocks) and then Spaghetti with Clams Garlic and Tomatoes. Total yum. So what about the fourth night? Now I could easily just make a red sauce but that doesn't excite me right now. Hmmm maybe go outside the Italian box and do a homemade lo mein? I also have some really nice Orecheitte in the pantry that could be a good thing. My usual budget is anywhere from 5 to 10 bucks per meal but I think with pasta I can get that down a bit even splurging a bit on a good wedge of parm and some pancetta. I think we will go with the Orecheitte now we just have to figure out what kind of sauce? Go with the old stand by of Broccoli Rabe and Sausage and Garlic? Nah not springtime enough.

Okay I have been trying to find the last recipe for about 25 minutes and after searching a  handful of websites and I cant come up with it. Too many ideas bouncing around my head but its almost time to bring the garbage to the dump before it closes and then head to the grocery store think woman think! Springtime.....peas asparagus mint ricotta clean light flavors basil tomatoes flavors heading into summer but I am already using tomatoes in two out of four dishes so.........And to make matters worse remember there is a budget so dishes featuring sexy things like burrata are out.  Okay finally fourth recipe Orecheitte with Cherry Tomatoes, White Wine Basil and Fresh Mozzarella. To make it more interesting I think I will roast the tomatoes a bit to add a little depth. So kill me 3 out of 4 recipes have tomato but hey remember its a super food so why not? Off to the store be back with a report on how I did with the budget.

So I am back from the town dump and the grocery store. I spent a total of $21.03 on the food for the next four nights so that is a grand total of $5.25 a night. Not too freaking shabby and that's buying good shit like pancetta and fresh mozzarella and decent pasta. Trust me I could have done this for much cheaper but I like the promise of low cost dinners being a little decadent too like pasta carbonara. Only problem I forgot to get something for lunch and I am hungry! Oh well! I will post the recipe for each night so stay tuned. Can two people eat well on 5 bucks a night I think they can well you be the judge
Happy Cooking.

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